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Everything you need to know about vaccines



Vaccines are for people of all ages, not just children and seniors. – Source:

Keeping up with vaccines is not always easy, particularly if you live in a household with family members of different ages. Vaccination needs can also change quickly if there’s an outburst of a disease.

These days, however, figuring out who needs to get vaccinated, when and where is as easy as visiting, the federal government’s centralized portal for everything related to vaccines. The portal recently launched a Spanish-language version of the site.

“Vaccinations protect you, but also protect family members and the community, and this website will help everybody get answers to some of the most basic questions about vaccines,” said Guillermo Avilés-Mendoza, a Public Health Advisor to the National Vaccine Program Office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Useful Information about Vaccines
The site offers information about vaccines from a practical and useful perspective. You’ll find, for example, vaccination calendars, explanations on how vaccines work and resources on which vaccines you need to take before going abroad.

In addition, you can:

  • Read about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
  • Learn which diseases are preventable through vaccines.
  • Become familiar with the many acronyms and abbreviations surrounding vaccinations.

“It’s a place where you can find practical and useful tools,” said Guillermo Avilés-Mendoza.

Who Needs to Get Vaccinated and When
It’s a myth that vaccinations are only for children, pregnant women and senior citizens. In fact, every year thousands of adults get vaccinated against the flu. There are different factors that determine if you need to get vaccinated, including your age, lifestyle, medical conditions and the places you visit. You might also want to get vaccinated if there’s an outburst of a particular disease, like whooping cough.

Dozens of people died during an outbreak in 2010, most of them children under the age of one who couldn’t get vaccinated because they were too young. That’s why the federal government recommends that 11- or 12-year-olds get a booster of whooping cough vaccine, and that all adults get vaccinated against the whooping cough and get a booster every 10 years.

“The vaccine protects the person who took it, but also those who can’t get vaccinated, such as small children and people with weak immune systems,” said Avilés-Mendoza.

Find out whoneedstogetvaccinatedandwhen.

Where to Get Vaccinated
Vaccinations are available in many places, from your doctor’s office and hospitals to pharmacies, churches and even schools and colleges. And many insurance companies cover the cost of vaccines. But what if you don’t have insurance?

You can always get vaccinated at the many community clinics funded by the federal government across the country. These clinics offer low cost vaccinations, so you pay what you are able to afford. has a community clinic locator. Just type in your ZIP code.

“These clinics are great because they also offer other types of services such as prenatal care, dental and mental health services,” said Avilés-Mendoza. and are the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). This article was written with the help of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Distributed by Contenido Latino

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. We can never get enough mercury, aluminum, and formadehyde into our blood stream,…at any age. When I was a kid, about 18 vaccines were given to about age 6. Now, in our modern medical society, kids by age get about 36. Do your own research, there is never an “everything you need to know” finality.

  2. Kev Sa is right. Give pause whenever you see the words,”…everything you need to know.” There are always two sides to a story. Vaccinations can be dangerous. Mercury,aluminum and formadehyde are just the tip of the iceberg.Think and investigate before you act.

  3. Stop, stop, STOP the misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding vaccines. Hippocrites… most of you writing about these consipracies and about “all the mercury and toxins” would not be ALIVE today if not for vaccines. Aside from antibiotics, vaccines are the most significant medical discovery human beings have ever made. The two singlehandedly have been responsible for increasing all of our lifespans exponentially. Many folks in highly impoverished countries would kill to have the appropriate vaccinations and medical care, so that they could have a better quality of life. STOP IT with the garbage and misinformation… how many people have to die and get sick because they listen to idiot celebrities like Jennny McCarthy and junk “science?” Stop it already… anti-intellectualism is getting very old. Latinos: get your vaccinations, follow the medical advice of competent professionals, and stop it with superstitions and paranoia.

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